Sunday, February 3, 2013

When to Leave Kids Home Alone- How Old Should Your Child Be?

Deciding what age to leave kids home alone after school, or before school starts, is an issue that concerns several parents. Being left at home alone is a big responsibility. There are also legal issues that surround the topic. In most countries, a legal age at which parents can leave children home alone is recommended by the government.

How do you know when is the right age to leave a child at home alone for an hour before school? When is a child ready to spend two or three hours alone at home after the end of school and extra activities, such as sports?

Many parents start leaving kids alone at home when they become teenagers, at age 13. Some parents leave children home alone before school at age 11 and even age 10, since by that age a child can be held responsible for waking up on time.

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The time before school is also fairly predictable, in terms of the routine activities a child would have to do in order to get ready for school, and get to school punctually.

Before leaving your child alone at home, think of whether they are able to handle any situations that might arise. If your child shows signs of independence, and knows what to do if they need to make a meal, or if an emergency arises, they can be left home alone.

Train your child in basic first aid. Have a list of emergency numbers handy by the phone. Discuss with your child what should be done when an emergency arises.

Most schools worldwide have earthquake and fire drills but it is a parent’s responsibility to ensure that their child knows what to do in the case of such an emergency. If you keep a fire extinguisher at home, make sure that your child knows how to use it.

Parents should make their children ready for the real world. Arm children with what they need, to cope and excel in the real world, and when they are left at home on their own, they will do well.

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